If you’re craving Southwestern cuisine with flair, the stylish dining rooms at the Ritz Carlton are the place to splurge. Dean Fearing gives fine ingredients the spin that made him a star, with upscale revamps of Mexican classics (like tender achiote-rubbed lamb with mole rojo) and down-home Texas cooking (chicken-fried lobster and buffalo tenderloin with jalapeño grits). The menu gives a dutiful nod to two of Dean’s early hits: tortilla soup and lobster tacos. A butcher’s menu features Texas wagyu steaks, and there are seafood and vegetarian dishes aplenty too. There’s even a smattering of dishes with the Asian influence the chef has long extolled. Service is polished and execution flawless. If there’s anything missing, it’s an element of surprise—the bold Southwestern flavors are almost too familiar, unless you’re not from these parts.
Cuisine: New American